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What Can I Accomplish with an Estate Plan? | The 8 Goals of Illinois Estate Planning

Article written by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
July 6, 2020

This article is the first in a series of nine articles explaining the Eight Goals of a Good Estate Plan.  The next eight articles in this series will each examine one of the Eight Goals of a Good Estate Plan in detail and explain the tools we use to accomplish that goal.

‍The purpose of this article is to provide you with a road map of the goals and the tools we use for each.

I have broken the Eight Goals into two groups.

The first group consists of four General Goals that apply to nearly every client. The second group consists of four Specialized Goals that may be appropriate depending on a client’s individual circumstances.The four General Goals and the tools that we use to accomplish them are:

1.  Appointment of fiduciaries and distribution of assets;

Tools: Revocable Living Trust, Will, Healthcare Power of Attorney & Financial Power of Attorney

2.  Probate avoidance upon death;

Tools: Revocable Living Trust

3.  Guardianship avoidance upon mental incompetency;

Tools: Healthcare Power of Attorney & Financial Power of Attorney

4.  End of Life Instruction;

Tools: Living Will.

In addition to these four primary goals, clients in special circumstances may also seek to accomplish four particular goals that are specific to their circumstances. These four Specialized Goals are:

5.  Estate tax avoidance;

Tools: Revocable Living AB Trusts, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts, Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, Grantor Retained Income Trusts, Grantor Retained Unitrusts & Generation Skipping Trusts

6.  Ensuring that a loved one with special needs is provided for without preventing him or her from receiving social security payments;

Tools: Third-party Supplemental Needs Trusts & Self-Settled Supplemental Needs Trusts

7.  Protecting assets from creditors

and Tools: Irrevocable Trusts, Family Limited Partnerships, LLCs & Corporations

8.  Preventing assets from interfering with eligibility for Medicaid and transferring assets to loved ones at death free of Medicaid liens.

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What Can I Accomplish with an Estate Plan? | The 8 Goals of Illinois Estate Planning

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